I'll never forget one of first horses I trained by myself. I could not have picked a better horse to give me problems.
This horse was slow to motivate. He was very much his own "person" so to speak and was going to do what he pleased...at least...that's how it seemed.
There are plenty of horses in this world that will move when you want them to move. In fact, some horses can be so nervous it takes little effort to get them moving in round pen. In a way, they almost train themselves.
When I was first training this horse he moved slowly and not very deliberately. Teaching him to drive was very difficult because he just wasn't going to move for me.
The first time I put a surcingle on him and attached lines he had no more intention on moving forward than an elephant with no legs.
The lesson I was teaching was to move forward. When you want your horse to move then, obviously, you want him to move...not stand there.
A typical way to teach moving forward and associating action with a command is to get behind your horse and to left a little. Then give a slight pull on left rein, then say "step" or "get up" and tap him on his rear end with whip.
Most every horse I worked with, this technique worked well. But technique failed with this horse.
Whenever I tapped him on butt he would either stand there and blink his eyes or he would turn around and just look at me.
To trained trainer it may seem he was balking. In fact, that's what I feared was happening.
The next thing I tried to get him moving was a hog slapper. A hog slapper is a small pole like aid with a handle on one end and two pieces of leather on other end. When you slap leather end against your boots it makes a loud slapping sound.
It was loud slapping sound I was hoping would motivate horse to move. Here's what happened.
The horse didn't take any steps forward to get away from it. It scared him a little first two or three times I slapped it on my boot, but that's all it did.
Frustrated and bewildered I wasn't sure what to do next.
I began to analyze situation. I knew tap with whip wasn't working so I didn't need to repeat trying it. I knew hog slapper didn't work so I didn't need to repeat that either.
So I asked myself, "What can I use to motivate this horse to move?"
I got answer from Jesse Beery.
Jesse Beery, a famous horse trainer from 1800's, taught training a horse to drive in much same way I do it. Even tap on rear end with whip is same.
In teaching a horse to overcome fears and desensitizing him to sounds, Beery prescribes using metal bowls strung together like a wind chime on rope. These bowls make quite a racket when you shake them. Used as Beery describes, they are extremely effective in horse training.